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Travelodge Hotels drop porn television

.- One of the largest British budget hotel chains has decided to drop its pay-per-view pornography channels and replace them with family friendly viewing.

Travelodge Hotels announced its decision this month, saying it wants to attract and encourage the growing number of families who stay at its budget hotels. The number of families and children staying at Travelodge hotels has doubled since 2003.

Travelodge, which has 20,000 bedrooms and branches in Spain, Ireland and the United Kingdom, said it would invest £10 million in new digital televisions that will offer 18 free, family-friendly channels.

The hotel chain says about 70 percent of its customers stay for leisure and 30 percent for business. The latter are thought to be the main consumers of hotel pay-per-view pornography.

The U.S.-based Omni Hotel chain also did away with its pornography option in North American hotel rooms seven years ago at the request of its owner, Robert Rowling.

The availability of pornography in hotel chains has shown to cause negative consequences for hotel staff. In 2004, unionized workers at Norwegian hotels filed complaints about the availability of hard-core pornography, saying that it led to increased sexual harassment of female employees.

Northern Irish Assemblyman Dr. Esmond Birnie followed up on this report, condemning the policy of the Belfast Hilton Hotel to allow hard-core pornography in its rooms and warning that it potentially places hotel staff in a dangerous position.

Pornography is known to generate large profits for hotels. In a 2001 PBS report, analyst Dennis McAlpine estimated that approximately 80 percent of in-room profits at hotels that primarily serve businessmen come from adult movie viewing. In major hotel chains, such as Hilton, Marriot, Hyatt, Sheraton and Holiday Inn, where pornography is offered, 50 percent of the hotel guests purchase the material, comprising nearly 70 percent of the hotels' in-room profit.

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